Friday, October 16, 2009

fridays rule.

i tell my students on friday's that i'm even happier that the week is over than they are, and if i can control myself, then there's no reason they shouldn't be able to!

i love fridays so much. and many thanks to the scheduling gods that gave me the last period on friday as a prep. so i finish at 1pm.

first marking period is almost over. last time this year i had around a 50% passing rate. i have one class now with an 83% pass rate.

the ctt class is the only one under a 50% pass rate and sadly all the special ed kids in the class are failing. the sped teacher and i both believe that it's more of a behavioral and focus issue rather than difficult work or problems with differentiation.

so i started teams this week. i let them work in small, focused groups for the entire period. i teach a skill for maybe five minutes total and then they explore it and practice with their teammates. halfway through the hour i stop them and teach for another five minutes after which i expand their assignment. their team is graded on a 3 point rubric each day with one delegate responsible for making sure they earn their points. this focus, ownership, and lack of me actually trying to address the group as a whole has really helped. i've noticed a number of changes with the special ed students in the class and i suppose next week's test will help me see if this structure has been as effective as i think!

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